Father John P. Driscoll,
co-founder of The Anchor


FALL RIVER, Mass. — Father John Paul Driscoll, 94, of Fall River passed away Monday, May 6, 2019 at Catholic Memorial Home.

The son of John W. and Julia V. (Curley) Driscoll, he was born in Fall River on the 4th of July, 1924 and was delighted to say the country celebrated his birthday.

He attended SS. Peter and Paul School, Msgr. Coyle High School, the College of the Holy Cross, and St. Mary’s Seminary and University, Baltimore, Md. He was ordained May 31, 1947 by the Most Rev. James E. Cassidy at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption, Fall River and retired from active ministry at the age of 77 in June 2001 after serving his final assignment as pastor of St. Lawrence Martyr Church in New Bedford for 29 years.

His first assignment was as a curate at Our Lady of the Assumption Parish in Osterville, June 1947. His other assignments included: curate at St. Lawrence Martyr in New Bedford, December 1950; secretary and assistant chancellor to Bishop James L. Connolly, April 1954; curate at SS. Peter and Paul Church, Fall River, December 1956; administrator of Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Swansea, October 1969; pastor at St. Lawrence Martyr in New Bedford, October 1972; and pastor of St. Francis of Assisi, New Bedford, while remaining pastor at St. Lawrence, New Bedford, June, 1991.

Father Driscoll, along with Msgr. Daniel Shalloo, was co-founder of The Anchor, and was its editorial writer and assistant general manager for 19 years. 

His other assignments included being the first president of the Diocesan Priests Council; chairman of the Personnel Board; a member of the Board of Diocesan Consultors and Divine Worship Commission; dean of the New Bedford Deanery for many years; director of the St. Mary’s Education Fund; trustee of St. Mary’s Home of New Bedford, Our Lady’s Haven of Fairhaven, and Bishop Stang High School of Dartmouth; and moderator of the New Bedford Catholic Woman’s Club.

As Spiritual Director of the Missionaries of Charity, he gave a talk every Thursday for nine years to the Sisters, and one of the highlights of his life was meeting the order’s founder, St. Teresa (of Calcutta), when she came to visit in New Bedford.

Father Driscoll was also a close, personal friend of the late Cardinal Humberto Sousa Medeiros, accompanying him to Rome in March of 1973 when Cardinal Medeiros was created Cardinal Priest of Santa Susanna.

In 2000, Father Driscoll was named “Person of the Year” by the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick for his many accomplishments and for being a “priest dedicated to a life of service to God, our Father.”

In an interview with The Anchor on the 70th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood, Father Driscoll noted: “It’s just a matter of living. I’ve done a few things, but everyday has been a highlight of my priesthood.”

Father Driscoll was the brother of the late Lillian (Driscoll) O’Boyle and the late Jean (Driscoll) Bentley. He is survived by nephews, John O’Boyle of Enterprise, Ala.; Charles O’Boyle of New Orleans, La.; and Brian Bentley and wife Karen of Fall River; and nieces Jeanne O’Boyle of New Orleans, La.; Marilyn B. Rigby of Westport, and Jo Ann Bentley of Fall River; seven grandnieces and grandnephews; and seven greatgrandnieces.

He also leaves many longtime friends, including James Colbert of New Bedford.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated May 14 at St. Lawrence Martyr Church in New Bedford. Burial followed in St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Fall River. 

Memorial gifts may be made to St. Lawrence Martyr Parish, 110 Summer Street, New Bedford, Mass. 02740. 

For online condolence book, please visit www.saundersdwyer.com.

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